IMS TO HONOR SHORT-TRACK, OVAL-RACING CHAMPIONS MAY 19 By Lisa Sommers indy500.com INDIANAPOLIS , May 10, 1999 - The tradition of bringing open-wheel, short-track champions from around the country to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway...
IMS TO HONOR SHORT-TRACK, OVAL-RACING CHAMPIONS MAY 19
By Lisa Sommers indy500.com
INDIANAPOLIS , May 10, 1999 - The tradition of bringing open-wheel, short-track champions from around the country to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway continues this year when the Speedway plays host to the second annual "Champions Day" on Wednesday, May 19.
"America's short tracks are truly the Road to Indy, and we are proud to have these champions honored at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the month of May," said Tony George, president of the Speedway.
More than 17 short-track champions are scheduled to attend including; USAC Coors Light Silver Bullet and MCI WorldCom Midget champion Jason Leffler, ARCA Midget series champion Gene Lee Gibson and United Midget Racing Association victor Terry Goff. Other attendees will include Bryan Kobylarz (American Racing Drivers Club), Kevin Chambers (American Mini Sprint Association), Dave Strickland Jr. (Rocky Mountain Midget Racing Association), Terry Gray (American Sprint Car Series), Daniel Boorse (Badger Midget Auto Racing), Kelly Angelette (Cajun Sprinters Association), Jeff Lane (Southern All-Star Racing Series), Dale Hammaker (Keystone Auto Racing), Joe Roe (IRA Outlaw Sprints), Don Lehmann (Midwest Auto Racing Association), Paul Hart (MLRA Pro Modified Series), Marty Wilcox (Sprint Car Owners of Arizona), David Gough (United Midget Auto Racing Association) and French Grimes (Virginia Sprint Series).
Champions Day events will include a breakfast seminar with noted Associated Press motorsports writer Mike Harris, Pep Boys Indy Racing League Executive Director Leo Mehl, three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford and award-winning sports broadcaster Bob Jenkins of ABC and ESPN.
The champions will attend a luncheon with national motorsports media. They will also participate in a photo shoot on the world famous 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval at the famous "yard of bricks." Some of the champions will be interviewed throughout the day on the public-address system and be available for interviews with the media.
Pep Boys Indy Racing League standout Billy Boat began his career as a short-track oval-track racer. He earned the distinction of breaking all USAC records for consecutive single-series feature wins with 11 straight Western States Midget victories in 1995 en route to the series championship, ending his season with 18 wins in 27 feature starts.
"The success I had in the Midget division was the main reason I received the opportunity to drive in the Pep Boys Indy Racing League," Boat said. "Team owners are looking for the drivers of the future, and there is a huge amount of talent in the short tracks across the nation. The IRL is paving the way for drivers to have a realistic shot at making it to the Indy 500."
Indianapolis 500 practice will take place during Champions Day from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.